Craving a bathroom facelift but just don’t have the budget to embark on a full-scale renovation? Well, stick to these purse-pleasing swaps – from fixtures to fittings and feature lights – to give an old bathroom a fresh new look.
1. The right light
Changing up the lighting is one way to make an affordable style statement – plus it can be a practical improvement. “A lighting source above your mirror helps you see more clearly and one on both sides of your mirror eliminates shadows, making tasks like shaving or applying makeup easier,” says Denise Hammond of Beacon Lighting.
Embrace the latest decorating trends with accessories and soft furnishings – these are far easier than big-ticket items to change and will keep your look current. “Try introducing colour with towels and soap dispensers,” suggests Just Bathrooms consultant Carmela Losinno.
“A pendant light positioned in the corner of the bathroom or beside a vanity mirror adds a touch of individuality and ambience”Denise Hammond
3. Tapping out
Old tapware is the first sign of a bathroom that’s dated, so consider replacing it with something fresh. Look to warm metallics in brushed finishes for the latest look, but make sure your choice complements your colour scheme. “The shape and design of your tapware will enhance certain styles,” says Vanessa Katsanevakis of Sussex Taps. In this GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens space, Rogerseller ‘Arq’ tapware in Rose Copper adds a touch of glam.
4. Go green
A spa-like oasis is more accessible than you think. “Incorporating houseplants into the bathroom is a great way to make it feel lush without the spa price tag,” says Gisele Zanier of Beyond Sunflowers. “They improve the air quality and help eliminate toxins found in harsh cleaning chemicals.”
5. Art attack
Let some new prints deliver a budget-friendly update. Just steer clear of oil paintings, glass frames and original photographs as the moisture could wreak havoc; instead, stick to inexpensive but eye-catching works on canvas or framed in perspex to be safe.
You could try printing your own work and mounting it in affordable Ikea ‘Ribba’ frames, from $34.99.
“Artwork in a bathroom can really transform it from a ‘washroom’ to an extension of the home,”Marc Reed
6. Mirror, mirror
If your bathroom’s lacking in character or style, a statement mirror might be just what it needs. If you already have a mirrored vanity, consider the addition of a full-length floor version for extra impact.
(left) Bamboo ‘Ragrund’ towel rack chair, $49, IKEA | (centre) ‘Gemini’ fan-tailed vanity mirror from $499, Shine Mirrors | (right) ‘Halifax Hooded Cup’ pull in Burnished Brass, from $31.95, Hepburn Hardware
7. Scrub up
Giving the bathroom a thorough clean from top to bottom is by far the cheapest way to give this hard-working room a lift. Take the spring clean to the max and invest in a grout pen (try White Knight 5ml white grout pen, $15.30, Bunnings) to make your tiles look like new.
“The smaller details can make all the difference. And the great thing is, they’re the easiest to change”Marc Reed
8. Vanity love
As one of the largest pieces in the bathroom, your vanity goes a long way to setting the space’s style, but installing a new one can be pricey. Rather than splurging, give your existing unit some TLC with a fresh coat of paint.
9. Storage to go
Clutter is a conundrum for most of us, but if you’re not in a position to splash cash on new cabinetry, then opt for portable, freestanding shelving solutions. “Look to include something that can be easily added and removed, depending on your daily needs,” says Reece Bathrooms marketing leader Daniela Santilli.
10. Fixture finesse
Small changes can make a big impact, so refresh your washroom with smart new fittings. “Finishes can make a space look elegant through understatement; they can either elevate fittings to become statement pieces or help increase the level of luxury,” says Sussex's Vanessa Katsanevakis.